A  well organised day – coach, boat, coach, boat. And repeat in reverse. 

And with this lots of health and safety. Which allows me to introduce this image from the Geraldine fete a week ago: 

The speakers for the fete: on a cherry picker, unsecured, wires dangling…..no warning tapes or exclusion area. 

And trains – remember that there is a call to change all level crossings in England (mainly to protect the people going for the Darwin Award, quo vadis)? Life is more relaxed here…..

‘Watch out, crossing ahead’

Whoops! Here one is where the equivalent of the A1 passes into the main southern city, eg the equivalent of going into Southampton … a couple of lights, no barrier, no real warning…..

Doubtful Sound got its name from Captain James Cook in 1770when passing by its narrow entry from the Tasman Sea. As the prevailing winds were westerly he was not sure the ship would be able to get out of the sound again so marked it doubtful on the map, and decided not to enter.  Later people assumed this was its name, and so it stuck. Was he right not to enter? It was finally charted in 1793, 14 years after he was killed in Hawaii. 

There’s almost too much to say about this trip, so I’ll simply run some photos and annotate them. Many are impossible to interpret too. Sorry. 

First boat trip of day – across Lake Manapuri to Wilmot Pass. Here 21 km of road link the lake with the Sound. This barge transports all vehicles and supplies as the pass road has no link with any other road. 

The Wilmot Pass passes through undisturbed temperate rainforest. Rivers and waterfalls come and go. Annual rainfall about 9meters! 

Under this Pass is a 10 km long tunnel where water passes down from the Lake to the Sound. There is an underground power station 176m below lake levelcontrolling all this. It’s  like something out of James Bond. 


Here is a model of it. 

Then onto the Sound (really a fjord) where we saw a pod of bottle nosed dolphins leaping and frolicking around our boat. 

Very difficult to catch on camera! 

A Fjordland Crested Penguin …..

(The white dot on the rock – he was preening, and it was raining hard). 

Maddy who simply has a high school qualification in tourism acted as our guide- explaining fjord habitats, rainforest, fjord vs sounds, dolphin lifestyle and much much more….

And some other random pics:The top part of the power station. 

View to the Tasman Sea (next stop Australia). 

The boat that does overnight trips. 

A general impression of our day. It rains two days out of three. 

And back to our campsite : Manapuri motorhome and caravan park. It’s perfect. Perfectly clean. Well priced. Perfectly equipped. 

Communal area with kitchen beyond to right, lounge to left, wood burning stove constantly alight. 

View of mountains, and dining area. 


BBQ area. 

Gloria, proprietress, who works virtually single handed to keep everything just so. 

Campers’ herb garden. 

Everything has been thought of.  It reminds me of a Garden of Remembrance somehow. 

And now: a challenge: 

Relief map of walk

Profile of the reknowned 4 day, 60km tramp – the Kepler Track. There is a race to do this each year. This year an Australian won in…..Four hours!!!!!

Tantrums: 0. Good day

Endangered species: that pesky penguin only. 

Tomorrow: queenstown and wanaka. 

We have travelled down the east of South Island and are now about one third up the west. 

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